Buyers Experience - Motorpoint, Carsite, Skoda etc - M.M
This weekend was a serious car buying effort. For a decade or more I've bought privately or through the trade so this was an interesting look into the car retail world.

The first possibility was at Carsite near Bedford. It turned out the advertised model we wanted was still on lease and they wanted us to pay a £75 holding fee for it to arrive in about 6 weeks. I also deduced they were not the seller as such but acted as an agent like Ebay. So there was no comeback or warranty with them... you had to buy the warranty on top. Just not the way we wanted to deal. 3/10

Next we went to Motorpoint. As we got out of our car intending to look over their stock a sales guy detached from a group and almost ran over to us. When we explained what we were looking for he led us away from the cars and into the unexpectedly large dealing area like a big hotel foyer with loads of busy dealing positions. Over to his desk and we realised he expected to do the deal in front of the computer with the car itself being secondary to the well scripted patter. They did have one model of great interest but despite it being listed at the site it was in fact 100+ miles away at another depot. The guy wanted us to put down a £300 deposit for them to get the car over for us to inspect... with the inference that they may not return said deposit if we turned the car down without good reason once we'd seen it. I gradually realised as I absorbed the posters on the walls and parts of conversations from others doing deals that pressure to take extended warranty/tyre insurance/ key loss cover/ gap insurance/ packages etc at almost £1000 would be the next stage in the script so we left. Again not our way of buying. 6/10

Then onto an independent local deal of many years in the city. A gravel and puddle yard with over 100 cars up to £10k and about a dozen to suit us. Went into the (dirty) office and told the boss what we were looking for. He resisted helping us by saying all the info was on the screens and to look ourselves... remaining in his chair. We did look round but left straight after. Bet warranty problems would be a laugh a minute with that place. 2/10

Citroen main dealer next. One car suited us ideally except for its very light grey upholstery which would be a liability with kids/dog. Salesman came out after a few minutes and was helpful/friendly but failed to invite us into the showroom to see if there was anything else on his computer that might suit. 7/10

Finally main Skoda dealers. Very tidy site, salesman came out after a few minutes with help but not pressure, offered keys and encouraged us to look at alternatives as they didn't have exactly what we wanted, spotted a spark of interest in one of the alternatives and offered a test drive for SWMBO which was underway within minutes, I stayed in showroom with eldest teen and we were treated to proper coffee in silver rimmed china cup & saucer, biscuits, big TV, magazine collection and really clean toilets if needed. Even offered for us to sit in the showroom and watch TV to use the remaining 45mins until we were due to collect our other daughter from shopping in town. Follow up phone call made later in the day as promised to give us best price on the vehicle we'd driven. Very very impressive. 10/10

I'll credit Citroen, Skoda and Motorpoint for all giving equal attention to both self and SWMBO... given that it's her own money anything else would have been sales suicide.
Buyers Experience - Motorpoint, Carsite, Skoda etc - 659FBE
My sales experience with Skoda was similar. Civilised, non-pushy and an unaccompanied test drive for as long as is needed.

When fixing the deal, I wanted changes to the vehicle spec. included - cruise control, steel wheels etc. etc. All done without hesitation and ready for collection as agreed 1 week later.

The car has been fine. The dealer's service department has some way to go... (of course, I don't use it, but I found a few things).

Buyers Experience - Motorpoint, Carsite, Skoda etc - Altea Ego
Very pertinent this, As I have recently had to do the same thing.

I went to a large car supermarket near to where i live. It was lateish on a Thursday evening. To get to the stock you have to enter through the large reception area. All I wanted to do was look at what they had, I had the means to buy there and then if they had a car that met my criteria.

As I appraoched the doors, the posse of salesmen all got up, and one young spotty snotty nosed oik in a badly fitting cheap suit, broke away from the pack to accost me as I stepped over the doorframe.

He then stuck out his hand for a handshake and launched into his defined patter ( I can just see it written in the comapny handbook)

I tried to ignore him and head for the doors to the large covered yard where the stock is, and he barred my way, demanding to know why i would'nt shake his hand. This lack of handshake clearly rattled him, and threw him off the rails of his sales training as he then started to roundly abuse me. I sneered at him with my best pittying look, and left - not actually having said a word or seen any cars.

What happened to guys who could sell? real salesmen.?

Buyers Experience - Motorpoint, Carsite, Skoda etc - Armstrong Sid
I'd had reasonable experiences at Supermarkets until my last time, when I got lumbered with an almost-aggresive boy salesman.
I'd gone to the place to just look around with nothing in mind, but I decided their special offers on almost-new Fiestas might be good for me. I wanted to know how much my existing car was worth in p-ex, but I had to sit at a desk with boy-salesman and go through ten minutes worth of form filling (by him). He couldn't just give me a figure by looking in a book and looking at my car, he had to have my name, address, the benefits of various finance deals (which I didn't want) etc etc.

Eventually he gave me a p-ex price which was ok what I expected. I then said "I only came in to look around without expecting to buy, so I'll think about it for a few hours and let you know" and I was genuinely interested and possibly going to buy. He then got almost aggressive with "why don't you want to buy it now Mr xxxxxx?" and I repeated that I wasn't going to make a decision there and then.

He then repeated the " Why don't you want to buy it now?" as though I was being very insulting to him. I left, wanting to be interested in their offer but totally put off by his attitude.
Buyers Experience - Motorpoint, Carsite, Skoda etc - maz64
We bought our last car, a Mitsubishi Colt, from Trade Sales in Slough and were quite impressed. Despite the fact they deal mostly in Fords/Vauxhalls the young-ish salesman new more about the car than the hopeless local Mitsu dealer salesman, he wasn't pushy, and he didn't mind when we went off to have a look at another car somewhere else. (We came back and did the deal.)
Buyers Experience - Motorpoint, Carsite, Skoda etc - BobbyG
They don't exist anymore - because so many people do their research on the net, try and play one off against the other, so the profit is so little they need to employ these oiks as opposed to salesmen!
Buyers Experience - Motorpoint, Carsite, Skoda etc - BobbyG
Another issue - by the nature of it, this forum is home to car-lovers of various degrees who have probably more interest and experience of cars than you average Joe Bloggs.

These supermarkets exist and prosper because there is a huge buying public out there who accept what they see, who want a car purchase to be the same as any other ie. there is the price, take it or leave it.

It always annoys me when having casual conversations at work and I hear of people buying cars, accepting the first offer, accepting everything the salesman said and not doing any research on the product!

Mind you, having said that, I annoy the life out of my missus as I won't buy anything without researching it, price comparing it etc. Last boxing day I went to the sales to buy a TV with Xmas money, finally bought one in April!!
Buyers Experience - Motorpoint, Carsite, Skoda etc - midlifecrisis
My experiences in the last few weeks:

Mazda- helpful salesman, but trotted out the 'list price and that's it' line. (Do salesman really expect to get list for a mainstream family car?)

Skoda- unaccompanied test drive, but just not close enough to close a deal. Happy to proide all the details I needed (but I knew more about the car than him).

Today-BMW. Walked around the (cold) forecourt. Number of salesman walked by chatting, not one even acknowledged my existence. Considering I was looking in a £22000 car, I was most surprised. Made a special trip to the showroom for that one, but first impressions count and I left.
Buyers Experience - Motorpoint, Carsite, Skoda etc - Bill Payer
Today-BMW. Walked around the (cold) forecourt. Number of salesman walked by chatting >> not one even acknowledged my existence. Considering I was looking in a £22000 car I
was most surprised.

I've wandered around my local BMW dealership several times over the last few years and I've never yet been spoken to by a salesperson. I've 'phoned and emailed a couple of times but they've never returned calles or answered email.
I have an effectively unlimited budget and they don't even know I exist.
Buyers Experience - Motorpoint, Carsite, Skoda etc - jacks
Today-BMW. Walked around the (cold) forecourt. Number of salesman walked by chatting not one even
acknowledged my existence.

On their way to a "meeting" no doubt, every time I've been in a BMW showroom I'm amazed
at how many men in suits there are holding meetings inside the glass walled offices while the "meeter and greeter" girl is on the showroom floor dispensing coffee and assuring the customers that "she will try and find someone to see to you".

Buyers Experience - Motorpoint, Carsite, Skoda etc - M.M
I've been doing the hard work on the phone to slightly more distant Citroen dealers this morning.

Interesting that two were quite happy to say their cars of interest had been sold and despite my assurances we were motivated to deal this week they didn't take my phone number in case anything came up soon.

The sales guy from the third Citroen dealership, who also had sold what we wanted did loads of legwork and came back with an ex-Motability car they could source for the end of the week plus a good deal on our old one. Sadly he was still £750 adrift of where we wanted to be.

Give them their due Motorpoint have phoned several times (only just on the right side of pushy) and offered to make a big concession on the £300 deposit to move the car of interest to our local depot. It's actually the best mileage/age/price combination that's left available to us but I don't think I have the patience for the warranty/finance sales pitch that I know would follow. All credit to them for trying.

What is obvious from all this is that small/medium diesel hatches in decent colours with sensible mileage are flying off the forecourts at the moment... in our area anyway.... and at very robust prices too.
Buyers Experience - Motorpoint, Carsite, Skoda etc - Alanovich

I reckon BMW showroom sales behaviour is performed on the basis of the old sales trick of saying "No". Make your product more desirable by making it seem unobtainable.

Doesn't work on me, though. I don't think, but I suppose you can never be sure.

I've never been in a BMW showroom, but I have heard this same story from everyone I know who has, with tales of the "You're not good enough" withering looks and refusal to speak from the sales people.

Still, they seem to sell plenty somehow.......the trick must work often enough.
Buyers Experience - Motorpoint, Carsite, Skoda etc - jacks
It always annoys me when having casual conversations at work and I hear of people
buying cars accepting the first offer accepting everything the salesman said and not doing any
research on the product!

Me too !
Brother -in-law recently traded in his wife's mint 52 plate Fiesta (bought new, low miles, FSH etc) at a Vauxhall dealer against a 9 month old Corsa. He accepted their opening (low) trade in offer - paid the screen price and came away having also bought extended warranty, paint protection etc. One week after they bought it the car had to go back in to have some work done on the brakes (on a 9 month old car ??????).

Still he seems happy with it and SWMBO has ordered me "not to interfere" !

Buyers Experience - Motorpoint, Carsite, Skoda etc - WellKnownSid
True of Skoda here in Spain too. With the scrappage scheme in full flow in July, just getting a car salesman off their bums to assist was impossible!

Having tried Ford, Renault, Peugeot, Citroen, Mitsu, Nissan, Hyundai (very friendly, number two choice but no stock), Dacia, Kia, FIAT (refused to unlock the car in the showroom - too, er, busy!!), Toyota, and several others, we finally crawled into the Skoda dealer.

Me: "We need a car, but we have very long list of specialist requirements that, it would seem, no other car dealer in Southern Europe can fulfill. It must have:

* 5 doors
* 5 seats
* Include air conditioning (I know, this is Spain, cars here couldn't possibly need THAT!)
* A boot which can hold more than purse
* Match the price you advertise on the Internet
* Doh! Of course, I forgot, it needs to be in stock too"

Dealer: "Here it is" (saleswoman points to Fabia, price including taxes is even 10 euros cheaper than advertised on the net).

Me: "Do you think if we pray to Thor, the great god of thunder, we might possibly be considered worthy of taking a test drive?" (I ask the wife to pass me my diaries for 2011 and 2012 just in case)

Dealer: "I'm so sorry, I can't arrange that for at least 20 minutes. Would you like a coffee whilst you wait?"

Deed done an hour after walking into the dealership. Does it really have to be that hard?!?!
Buyers Experience - Motorpoint, Carsite, Skoda etc - Bill Payer
Deed done an hour after walking into the dealership. Does it really have to be
that hard?!?!

For all the complaining we do on here, it's bit weird when you get a sales person who responds to you - it catches you off guard!

Happened to me when I helped youngest daughter buy her Mitsubishi Colt. It turned out we were dealing with the sales director, and that's nominally my job title too. Everything we asked him he just said "yes". We had no reason not to buy the car, although we'd really only gone to look.
Wifey wasn't very happy when we came home as she'd planned to wait for a bit (I was supposed to know that even though she hadn't told me!).

Edited by Bill Payer on 30/11/2009 at 14:58

Buyers Experience - Motorpoint, Carsite, Skoda etc - Alby Back
It's a fine skill if developed properly to identify how a customer wishes to be treated.

Some, if approached even politely will feel pressured or threatened, others if allowed to browse uninterupted will be offended due to a perceived lack of attention. Good sales people have the gift of second sight and can cope with either situation. The mere mortal ones find it a bit more difficult.

Communication is a two way street, give sales staff a clue as to your intentions and needs and you will often get surprisingly good service.

Others are of course beyond redemption.

Buyers Experience - Motorpoint, Carsite, Skoda etc - ifithelps
Spot on, Humph.

Most prospective customers I met when I sold cars were very pleasant, but some were not and would set out to bait you.

I thought it was because they didn't dare take out their frustrations on anyone they knew.

These small-minded individuals seemed to think you were fair game, partly because, as a salesman, you had to take some of their garbage, which was true to a point.

I remember other deals being so painfully involved I wished the customer would just say 'no' and walk away.

Buyers Experience - Motorpoint, Carsite, Skoda etc - RicardoB
I agree. It is hard to gauge what potential/customers are expecting (I'm not a car salesman) and it must be true how you can never please all people all the time.

Personally, if I am looking at cars, I do my own initial thoughts/research then like to go to a showroom/site and be left alone to have a look at the cars in the flesh. Then when I'm ready to talk about test drives/deals etc, I make an approach to staff.

But as others have said, some people want to be seen/spoken to straight away.

Difficult to get it right.
Buyers Experience - Motorpoint, Carsite, Skoda etc - midlifecrisis
I would have liked a simple "Hi, I'm such and such, if you need anything, I'm just over there". Being completely ignored is just a tad rude!
Buyers Experience - Motorpoint, Carsite, Skoda etc - Alby Back
Quite right mlc and so it should be.

As it happens I have considerable experience of training sales people and your method is exactly the right approach with the caveat of maintaining eye contact and a friendly open expression at the end of the greeting and for a couple of seconds afterwards. Most customers, if they do want to talk will then engage in conversation.

However, I have personal experience of following the politest of greetings of having been blanked, insulted or of them turning on their heels and leaving. There is sometimes a strange reaction to sales people who are in the main, just trying to do their jobs. I'm sure in your line of work you encounter some odd reactions too !

No customer should ever be ignored, that is inexcusable, but some have to be treated with kid gloves.

For those who regularly find such encounters difficult it might be worth examining your own body language and disposition. Bear in mind that the sales assistant is also ( usually ) a human being too and is as potentially malleable as you are. Get the sales person on your side and you will get a better deal. Don't treat them as your servant but as a person of equal status and they will be so taken aback as to be putty in your hands.

People in front line sales jobs are cynical beasts. They have heard it all before. the "I'll be back", "I can get a better deal elsewhere ", " I want mats or the deal's off" all that malarky. Save the hard ball until you are finalising the deal. Soften them up first. Cooperate with the culture of the business while maintaining your dignity. Get their name and use it. People, even hardened sales people like to be liked and you will get a better and much more satisfactory result. Alienate them by being pompous and they will naturally be harder to negotiate with.

It might not feel right but it's human nature. We spend our whole lives learning how to interact with others but some find it difficult in a buyer / seller conversation. My advise is relax into it and so will they. You both have your own agendas of course but if you start to feel comfortable with each other the result can often be a "win win".

Buyers Experience - Motorpoint, Carsite, Skoda etc - Altea Ego
When I enter a car dealer, I exect as a minimum a smile and eye contact. Then I know who to talk to If I need anything else.

Years ago, I took my mum to BUY (no window shopping, no mucking about) a Golf.
We went and stood by the reception desk for 5 miutes while salesman sat in glass offices
drinking coffee.

We walked out and bought a 205. She has since bought 2 brand new cars since and wont even contemplate a VW product.
Buyers Experience - Motorpoint, Carsite, Skoda etc - Alby Back
Yeah my mum's like that too. If someone upsets her once she hates them for a lifetime.
Buyers Experience - Motorpoint, Carsite, Skoda etc - nortones2
My only recent sales contact was with Skoda (Simpsons) in Preston. I was only looking at the Octavia Scout and Yeti as a preliminary/reconnaissance:) Made clear not buying yet. They were fine. Showed me the points salient to carting hounds around (one of my reasons for changing), brochures handed over, offered test drives on the spot. I said I didn't want to waste their time and I'd get in touch when talking seriously was on the agenda. No pressure, nice chat, and clearly happy with the product they are selling. Family firm I believe.
Buyers Experience - Motorpoint, Carsite, Skoda etc - Altea Ego
Yeah my mum's like that too. If someone upsets her once she hates them for
a lifetime.

Not sure what was worse, the German bombing her during the war, or the Germans ignoring her in the Showroom. She has driven French ever since.

She will see the Mitsubishi for the first time at christmas, I do hope Bridge on the River Kwai isnt on ythe tele or i will never hear the end of it.

Edited by Altea Ego on 30/11/2009 at 21:09

Buyers Experience - Motorpoint, Carsite, Skoda etc - Alby Back
All sounds a bit familiar AE. Mine couldn't say anything nice about any of my BMWs or VWs because they were German but to be fair she was shot at ( and hit ) by a Messerschmidt 109 while driving an ambulance so she sees that as logical........ I've just been given a "Japanese" company car which although I've tried to explain it was made in Sunderland cuts no ice.....

I don't suppose we can begin to understand.

You might be wise to take the badges off ! Fishing line is very effective fo the purpose I believe....

At the very least never drive her in it without whistling Col. Bogey.....